It was real.
Despite all the Internet naysayers, the widely shared video of a creature that greatly resembled a shark swimming around the floodwaters of Fort Myers is apparently legit.
A video started making the rounds on Wednesday, first tweeted by local resident Brad Habuda and tagging Fox News host Greg Gutfeld.
“Somehow a shark ended up in a Fort Myers neighborhood,” said the caption, along with a chattering teeth emoji.
The dark-colored fish is struggling slightly as it thrashes through what appears a giant puddle, its telltale dorsal fin visible.
Later in the comments, Habuda says that the video was shot by another person in the area, Ed Bell. Further down, another local was properly credited in a followup tweet, real estate developer Dominic Cameratta.
The gobsmacked Florida man acknowledged to The Associated Press that he was the one holding the cellphone camera., and the news outlet confirmed the video’s authenticity with an analysis of metadata.
Not just another fish story: A video of a shark or other large fish thrashing around an inundated Fort Myers backyard amid Hurricane Ian is real, the AP has found. https://t.co/RTpnlT5Okp
— AP Fact Check (@APFactCheck) September 29, 2022
Cameratta reported that he was on his back patio around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday when he saw something “flopping around” in his neighbor’s yard that is near a pond.
“I didn’t know what it was — it just looked like a fish or something,” he told the news outlet about the roughly four-foot long creature. “I zoomed in, and all my friends are like, ‘It’s like a shark, man!’”
The authenticity of the “street shark” footage was also confirmed to Storyful, which bought the rights to the clip.
George Burgess, former director of the Florida Museum of Natural History’s shark program, told the AP it appeared to be a juvenile bull that was swept toward land with the inclement weather.
“Young bull sharks are common inhabitants of low salinity waters — rivers, estuaries, subtropical embayments — and often appear in similar videos in Florida water bodies connected to the sea such as coastal canals and ponds,” Burgess told the AP. “Assuming the location and date attributes are correct, it is likely this shark was swept shoreward with the rising seas.”